Antenatal Care and its association with birth weight in Temeke District, Dar-Es-Salaam, Tanzania
Background: Perinatal outcomes of infants depend on their birth weight, which in turn depend on the proper antenatal care during pregnancy. Attendance to the Antenatal clinics is therefore a proxy to delivering normal weight infants. We undertook this study to test this hypothesis.
Objectives: The objective of the study is therefore to determine the predictors of antenatal care and its association with birth weight
Materials and Methods: This cross-sectional study was done at the Temeke District Hospital among mothers attending the antenatal clinic and able to provide the details of birth weight and antenatal care. Systematic selection was done until sample size achieved. All data was captured in a structured questionnaire and included details of their pregnancies, socio-demographic characteristics, mosquito net use, previous deliveries and HIV status.
Results: Of the 463 mothers interviewed, 76.2% had up to four antenatal visits while 259 (56%) women attended their first antenatal clinic after their 20th week of pregnancy. Among the single mothers, 42.4% gave birth to low birth weight babies (p<0.001). A total of 36.7% were primigravidae and 74.3% had only completed primary education. A total of 71 (15.3%) women had delivered babies below 2500gm and only 21.8% had their first dose of tetanus vaccination while 18.1% of the women had not been given any form of supplementation.
Conclusions: This study indicates that timing and number of antenatal visits is an important indicator for low birth weight. Intensive focused ANC should be provided to latecomers.
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